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10 Tips to Increase Your Bookings for VIPKID Teachers

Are you a new teacher struggling to get bookings with VIPKID? Don't give up hope just yet! In this post, I want to share 10 tips to increase your bookings and get a schedule full of regulars! Let's dive in!

Nancy has a great video here explaining some of these tips in detail and why they are helpful. Check it out!

1. Time

Plain and simple: It takes time. You will have to build that schedule over weeks and months. It is so hard to wait and I know you are anxious to fill in all those class blocks but just be patient. It takes time for everyone! The kids in China have breaks from school for different seasons and holidays (just like our kids). The low booking seasons are late January-February for Chinese New Year and June/July/August for summer vacation. Just know that if you start in a low booking season, you need to keep going! Things will pick up! Most teachers schedules become full after 2-3 months. 

2. Be Available

Sounds obvious right? Well I would suggest that you open as many peak time slots as you can in the first 1-2 months. Peak time slots are the times when most students are available and looking to take classes. There are three reasons for this. First, you will start getting students who love you and want to be your regular student. Second, you will start getting 5 apple reviews that will boost your Teacher Profile. Third, you will get a ton of practice with teaching. This means you will get better and start to find your style of teaching and your confidence will sky-rocket! Be consistent on the dates and times that you open up so that parents know what to expect when booking your class! As your schedule starts to fill in more and more, you can get more selective on the times you want to teach because you will have regulars lining up to book your class. You are basically a rockstar!

3. Train/Certifications

While you are waiting for that schedule to fill up, start to add to your resume. Take workshops to gain skills, brighten your profile, and learn how to get great feedback (you can see how to get to the workshops in this post). This is a great time to really learn and become proficient in all things VIPKID while you wait for the kiddos to start rolling in. 

Start looking at what classes you are available to teach. When you first start out you will be certified in Levels 2/ 3,  and/or 4/5. Why not add in trial classes? Supplementary classes? I would suggest adding different certifications to your resume as you get started. This will make more students available to you to teach. If you don't like teaching the classes, you can always remove those certifications from your profile later. 

In the summer time I would suggest getting certifications outside of the Major Course curriculum as many students like to take the other courses offered over their summer break. You will find these in the "Certification" tab on your teacher portal!

4. Update your Classroom

Look for ways to invest in your classroom. Get new fun props. Make a cute background. Find the best lighting. This will make your classroom warm and inviting for those students when they attend your class. You can find more ideas on this post for investments you can make in your classroom. 

You can check out the simple background maps and borders that Nancy offers on her shop specific for Online ESL Teachers. https://thetaylorshop.us/

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5. Check your Announcements and Emails

VIPKid offers great marketing for their teachers, often mentioned in their weekly newsletters and announcements. You might have the opportunity to write a blog post, post an educational video, or be featured on their facebook page. Take advantage of these opportunities because this is like a free advertisement to get the attention of parents to book your class. 

6. Update your Profile

After teaching for a year and a half, I took time off after I had my third baby. When I came back my schedule was like a ghost town. One of the best things I did to start boosting my bookings was to update my profile. Take a nice professional-looking headshot (natural light is best). The parents will look at your bio to see your education and experience. Make sure you add all degrees and certificates and talk about your experience working with children. You can also mention your family and hobbies. The students like to watch your video. I tried to make mine very fun and happy to appeal to the students. This is your way of showing the students and parents a peek into what a typical class is like with you!

You can watch Nancy's intro video here:

You can watch my intro video here:

7. Feedback

After you teach you get to send the parents and students a short report of how the class went. Nancy has a great formula for success on how she writes her class feedback (the video at the top even shows you an example). Here are some things she always includes:

  • The student's name 
  • Something they did well
  • Constructive criticism
  • Something positive 
  • Her "Show Name" 

This is called the sandwich method. You are still being honest about the student's performance but you also let them know areas where they need improvement. The teacher "Show Name" is typically your First name and some letters. 

8. Find what sets you apart.

What makes you unique as a teacher? Do you sing? Play an instrument? Have awesome rewards? Make them feel special? Have great conversations? A princess background? Think about what sets you apart from other teachers. I truly believe that we need all different kinds of teachers because there are so many different types of students. Don't try to teach just like Nancy. Be yourself! There are students that need your unique talents and abilities, be sure to show them!

 

9. Connect

Find ways to go beyond the lesson and connect with each student. Here are a few ways you can build a relationship with these cute kids:

  • Have a conversation!
  • Make them smile 
  • Find similarities
  • "Do you like.....?" (insert lesson topic)
  • "What is your favorite...?" (extend the lesson)
  • "What did you eat for dinner?"
  • "Who is in your family?"
  • "What did you do today?" SPOILER ALERT: They almost always say "homework". 
  • Share pictures/videos of your home, hobbies, pets and let them show you pictures, toys, etc. too! 

Then be sure to mention this in the feedback! Parents love to hear how their students are learning conversations through these personal connections. 

10. Ask questions!

As a new teacher, this job can be overwhelming. There is a lot of jargon being thrown around (frenzy, fireman, SNS). Don't be afraid to ask the questions! Find help from other teachers, your application coach or the support team. Still need help? Check out this post about 10 Actionable Steps to Help New Online Teachers Succeed.

There it is! 10 great Tips to help Increase your Bookings for VIPKID teachers. I hope these tips are helpful to you and any referrals you have that have just started teaching. Trust me, it's worth the work and the wait!

Sincerely,

Teacher Stephanie

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